HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE SECOND-COMING OF JESUS?
The holy scriptures tell us that Jesus is coming again. When Jesus “was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight…while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11). This announcement of Jesus coming again was echoed a number of times by others. Paul spoke of “waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:7, 8). Again, he spoke of “they that are Christ’s at his coming.” (1 Corinthians 15:23). Writing to the Philippians, Paul called attention to “heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:12). Hebrews 9:28 says, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Read the following scriptures to see other promises of Christ’s second-coming: 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; Titus 2:13; James 5:7, 8; 2 Peter 3:4-15; 1 John 2:28. Beloved, Jesus is coming again.
DESCRIBE YOUR FEELINGS IN ONE WORD
How do you feel about the Lord coming again? If you could describe your feelings in ONE word only, what word would you choose? Take a moment to think about it before you read any further. Now complete the following sentence, using only one word: Jesus is coming again, and the word that comes to my mind is__________________. Fill in the blank before you read any further. What word did you use? It is important to your soul’s salvation, for Solomon wrote, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he;….” (Proverbs 23:7). John said our hearts may condemn us, or may condemn us not. (1 John 3:20, 21). The word you wrote in the blank may very well determine your present spiritual condition. We say MAY very well determine it, because you may have filled in the blank with an inaccurate answer. Feelings are not always a true barometer of one’s spiritual condition. Solomon wrote, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25; 14:12). Paul’s good conscience (Acts 23:1) and thinking (Acts 26:9) were wrong at one time. He had to make some changes in his thinking and life. So, be careful that your thoughts and feelings are accurate.
WHAT WORD DID YOU CHOOSE?
There are a number of words from which you may have made your choice. Let us notice a few of them.
UNIVERSAL—If you used the word universal you were accurate, for “he cometh with the clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him:….” (Revelation 1:7).
SECOND—This will indeed be Christ’s second-coming, for Hebrews 9:28 says, “And unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Luke 2:8-20 records His first appearance.
CLOUDS—John wrote, “Behold, he cometh with clouds;….” (Revelation 1:7). That is the way Luke said He would return. (Acts 1:9-11).
PROMISED—Jesus promised, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again,….” (John 14:1-3).
AIR—The resurrected dead (1 Thessalonians 4:16) and the living (verse 17) “shall be caught up together…in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.” (Verse 17).
UNKNOWN—“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:32). “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” (Matthew 24:42).
UNEXPECTED—“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 24:44). He is described as coming like a thief in the night, that is, without warning, or when least expected. (Verse 43; Cf. also. 1 Thessalonians 5:2-6; 2 Peter 3:10).
INSTANTANEOUS—The change that will take place when Jesus returns will be “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,…” (1 Corinthians 15:52). There will be no time for repentance then.
ANGELS—“The Son of man shall so come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him,….” (Matthew 25:31). 2 Thessalonians 1:7 says, “the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,….”, including “the voice of the archangel (1 Thessalonians 4:16), “Michael.” (Jude 9).
SHOUT—The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,….” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
TRUMP—“The Lord himself shall descend from heaven…with the trump of God:….” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). 1 Corinthians 15:52 says it is “the last trump.”
END—Paul described the time of the resurrection of the dead at Christ’s second-coming as “the end.” (1 Corinthians 15:24). It will be the end of things as we know them. (2 Peter 3:10-13). It will not be the end of the third heaven. (2 Corinthians 12:1ff), nor of the kingdom. (2 Peter 1:11).
DISSOLVED—2 Peter 3:10,11, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ye ought to be in all holy conversation and godliness.”
DELIVERED—1 Corinthians 15:24 says, “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.”
RESURRECTION—When the Lord descends from heaven, “the dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). 1 Corinthians 15 gives a more detailed picture of the resurrection. John 5:28, 29 tell us, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and come forth,….”
CHANGE—1 Corinthians 15:51 says, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,….”
IMMORTAL—The great resurrection chapter, 1 Corinthians 15, says, “This mortal must put on immortality.”
INCORRUPTIBLE—1 Corinthians 15:53 also says, “This corruptible must put on incorruption.” This is necessary because “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” (Verse 50). Read verse 42.
GLORY—The body “is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory:….” (1 Corinthians 15:43).
POWER—The same body is “sown in weakness; it is raised in power.” (1 Corinthians 15:43).
SPIRITUAL—1 Corinthians 15:44, “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.”
MULTITUDE—“And before him shall be gathered all nations:….” (Matthew 25:32; Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:12, 13).
JUDGMENT—Paul wrote about “the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.” (2 Timothy 4:1). The Corinthians were told, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that which he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Compare 1 Peter 4:5; Acts 10:42; Hebrews 12:27.
ACCOUNT—When we “stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10), “every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Verse 12). 1 Peter 4:5 says, “We shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.” Compare Revelation 20:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10.
SEPARATION—“When the Son of man shall come in his glory…before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” (Matthew 25:31-33). Cf. Matthew 13:44-50, where the parable of the net also describes a separation.
VENGEANCE—When Jesus comes again, He will be “taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:….” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). Romans 3:5 asks a rhetorical question, “Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance?” NO! is the obvious answer. Vengeance belongs to God. (Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30; Jude 7).
PUNISHMENT—God’s vengeance on the disobedient will result in their being “punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). 2 Peter 2:9 says the Lord will “reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” (Hebrews 12:29).
WAIL—When Jesus comes again, “All kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.” (Revelation 1:7). “There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:42, 50; 8:12).
FIRE—When Jesus comes the second time, He will come in “flaming fire.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7). He will “sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them in a furnace of fire:….” (Matthew 13:49, 50). “Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:14, 15; 21:8).
REWARD—At the second-coming of Jesus, “He shall reward every man according to his works.” (Matthew 16:27). Jesus said, “I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” (Revelation 2:23). In Revelation 22:12, Jesus said, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Compare 1 Corinthians 3:8. Many statements in the scriptures speak of the reward the Lord will give when He comes again.
JOY—The good and faithful servants who had done well were told to “enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” (Matthew 25:21, 23). In anticipation of “the appearing of Jesus Christ:…ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:7-9).
ETERNAL—“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:46). The destiny of both wicked and righteous people is to be without end—eternal, everlasting. Both words are used to describe the future of the wicked and righteous. Compare Matthew 25:46 and Mark 3:29; and Matthew 25:46 and 19:29.
INHERITANCE—That which is “ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5) is “an inheritance.” (Verse 4). It became an inheritance because we entered the family of God. (Romans 8:14-18). Those who served the Lord were told, “Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34ff). Compare 1 Peter 3:9; Revelation 21:7.
VICTORY—Paul’s discussion of the resurrection at the second-coming of Jesus was followed by the conclusion, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57). To be victorious we must run, strive, be temperate, discipline ourselves, press toward the mark, and not look back. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Philippians 3:13, 14). Only in so doing may we win the crown or prize.
RIGHTEOUSNESS—2 Peter 3:13 says, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” The reason only right things will be there is that “there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever maketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:27). The sinful are without. (Revelation 22:14, 15).
IMPATIENT—Do the thoughts of Jesus appearing again find you “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God,….”? (2 Peter 3:12). If so, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord…for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” (James 5:7, 8). We may as well be patient for the great event, because we can no more hasten the day than we can hurry harvest or rain. Cf. Romans 8:25.
HOPE—“In hope of eternal life,….” (Titus 1:2). Hope is desire, trust, expectation of the unseen. (Romans 8:24, 25). The principle of 1 Corinthians 9:10, “plow in hope”, applies to our discussion. Our hope extends beyond this life. (1 Corinthians 15:19). Hope is “an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast,….” (Hebrews 6:18, 19).
READY—Your reaction to Christ’s second-coming may be that you are ready, “Therefore be ye also ready:….” (Matthew 24:44). When “the bride-groom came;…they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.” (Matthew 25:10). Those who were not ready were left without. (Verses 11, 12). Though not accurate, Peter’s statement, “Lord, I am ready to go with thee” (Luke 22:33) should be our attitude about eternity with the Lord.
FEARFUL—Those without reject the sacrifice of Jesus as the atonement for the sins of the world, and have “But a certain fearful looking for judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversary.” (Hebrews 10:26-31).
MYTH—Peter wrote of “scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3:3, 4). Do you doubt the second-coming of Jesus? Are you skeptical? Beloved, God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), and Jesus said, “I will come again.” (John 14:3).
HEAVEN—2 Corinthians 5:1 informs us that the incorruptible, undefiled, never-fading inheritance is “reserved in heaven.” (1 Peter 1:4). The Hebrew writer said, “Knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.” (Hebrews 10:34). In view of this, we understand why Paul wrote, “For we know that if this earthly house of our tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1).
GLORIFIED—Jesus “shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe…in that day.” (2 Thessalonians 1:10).
A number of other words could have been used in this brief study. Perhaps you used some word that is not found herein. If so, what word did you select? ______________
In view of all that has been studied from the word of God, if you could have selected the word JOY or FEAR, and no other, which word would you have chosen, and why? Lay the tract down for a minute, and reflect upon your life. When you have decided which word best describes your true feelings, pick the tract up again, and put the word in the next blank. Do you fear the Lord’s second-coming in view of your present condition? Or do you look forward to His second appearing with joy because of your faithfulness. Reflect upon the word you wrote in this blank.__________.
Who has no fear of the Lord’s second-coming, looking for it with great joy? The answer is simple. The individual who has obeyed Jesus has no reason to fear Jesus’ return, but should look forward to it. Read Hebrews 5:9 and Revelation 22:14.
Have you obeyed Jesus to become a Christian? Read the following verses to see if you have obeyed the Lord, or if you need to do these things. One is saved by the blood of Jesus (Romans 5:9), when one obeys the saving gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16), the doctrine of Christ from the heart. (Romans 6:17, 18, 2 John 9-11). Jesus, the Savior (Hebrews 5:8, 9; Luke 2:11) calls “all ye that labour and are heavy laden” (Matthew 11:28-30), to obey His will, which involves hearing (Mark 12:29), faith (John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6; Romans 5:1), repentance (Acts 17:30, 31; Luke 13:3, 5), confession (Matthew 10:32, 33; Acts 8:36, 37), and baptism by burial in water (Romans 6:1-5; Acts 8:38, 39) to be saved (Mark 16:15, 16; Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:20, 21), to enter Jesus and His church (Galatians 3:26, 27; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22, 23; Acts 2:41, 47). Have you done these things commanded by Jesus? If so, you can joyously look forward to His second-coming. If you have not done these things, you must put the word fear in the blank. ________________________.
Further, it is not enough to have become a Christian. You must be faithful. (Mark 13:13; Revelation 2:10). You must be “stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Read the following verses to see what is involved in faithfulness: 2 Peter 1:5-7; Galatians 5:19-26; Ephesians 4; Mark 16:15; 1 Corinthians 14:12; etc. Christian, are you walking in the light? (1 John 1:7). Are you “ready unto every good work”? (Titus 3:1). Are you “fervent in the spirit; serving the Lord”? (Romans 12:11). If so, you can look forward to the Lord’s second return. If not, you must watch fearfully. Which is it? Which do you want it to be? Again, put the word which most accurately describes your feelings in the blank. ________________________________________________
Beloved, Jesus is coming again. James 5:8 says, “The coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” Paul wrote, “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:18). Whatever you do in this life, make sure that you live for Jesus, so you can echo Paul’s words as he was about to die, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give to me at that day, and not to me only, but unto all them that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8). If you are not ready for the Lord’s second-coming, call or get in touch with someone immediately to help you get ready for that day. Do it right now! Your soul is too important to wait another moment. Cf. Hebrews 3:7, 13, 15; 4:7; “Behold, now is the accepted time…now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2). “Examine yourselves.” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
THERE’S A GREAT DAY COMING
By W. L. Thompson
There’s a great day coming, a great day coming,
There’s a great day coming by and by,
When the saints and the sinners
shall be parted right and left,
There’s a bright day coming, a bright day coming,
There’s a bright day coming by and by,
But its brightness shall only come
to them that love the Lord,
There’s a sad day coming, a sad day coming,
There’s a sad day coming by and by,
When the sinner shall hear his doom,
“Depart, I know ye not,”
Are you ready for that day to come?
Are you ready? Are you ready?
Are you ready for the judgment day?
Are you ready? Are you ready
For the judgment day?
ARE YOU READY FOR THE JUDGMENT DAY?
(Acts 17:30, 31; 2 Corinthians 5:10)